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Bebop Spoken There

Art Hirahara: "Playing with people is the most important thing to me, and not playing with people is torture." - (DownBeat August, 2020)

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11,767 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 907 of them this year alone and, so far, 44 this month (August 11).

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August

Tuesday 11: Happy Birthday Dave Hignett & Peter King (80).

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Darlington Jazz Festival: Gypsy Jazz Brunch & Triptych/Aga Serugo-Lugo - May 5


(Review by Russell)

An early start was required on Sunday for the festival goer determined to hear something of everything. A jazz brunch, a street jazz performance, a church 'service' and a big band blow out to end it all. The weather forecast suggested things would be marginally better and, by and large, that would prove to be the case.

A late morning train to Darlington meant your reviewer missed - only just! - the first set of the day. Emma Fisk and Dave Harris had been and gone a matter of minutes earlier, their duo set at Hash Bar on Conisclffe Road the first serving of an all things Django and Stéphane Gypsy Jazz Brunch


Following hot on their heels were Gordon Dyke (violin) and Shaun Henderson (guitar). The duo's short set encompassed more than the standard jazz repertoire with numbers such as Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke (a Ducal reference, of course) and, you'd never guess...the theme tune to the children's television programme Vision On

From Hash Bar it was a short walk to St Cuthbert's Church. On the way, the Northern Monkey Brass Band boys were spotted setting-up for their second street performance of the weekend. As the 'congregation' filed into the impressive St Cuthbert's Church the first half of a double bill - Triptych - completed a sound check ahead of a two thirty start. The trio, comprised of Paul Edis (piano, keyboards, clarinet), Paul Susans (bass guitar) and Rob Walker (drums, keyboards), had recently been in the studio over two days to record material for an album and two pieces from the Blank Studios' sessions were heard in the grand setting of St Cuthbert's. 
 
Pews were well populated for the second half of this Sunday afternoon service. Aga Serugo-Lugo (community choir leader, piano, vocals) arrived in Darlington amidst much hype. Much talk of the man being an inspirational workshop leader, would Serugo-Lugo live up to his reputation? On this evidence most definitely. A one-off meeting earlier in the day between the man and a disparate group of enthusiastic singers prepared all involved for this public performance. Serugo-Lugo's palpable energy and enthusiasm transmitted to the soulful choir as individual members stepped forward to holler and scat on numbers such as the spiritual Wade in the Water and Aloe Blacc's I Need a Dollar.  
Russell.

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